Confessions of a Nightingale
Chandler, Charlotte (American playwright, writer, 19__-____), and Ray Stricklyn (American playwright, actor, Hollywood agent, publicist, b. Houston, Texas, U.S.A., October 8, 1928-d. of emphysema Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., May 14, 2002),
“Confessions of a Nightingale,” a __-minute drama in English based on Charlotte Chandler’s book The Ultimate Seduction, set in _____, _____,
© 1987 by Charlotte Chandler and Ray Stricklyn;
• in Charlotte Chandler and Ray Stricklyn’s Confessions of a Nightingale (New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1987), ISBN 0573640459, LCCN 88111158, 47 pp.;
• script/rights available from Samuel French, Inc., 7623 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood CA 90046, http://samuelfrench.com/Catalogue.htm.
• Cited in Play Index, 1983-1987: An Index to 3,964 Plays, edited by Juliette Yaakov (____-____) and John Greenfieldt (New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1988), ISSN 0554-3037, LCCN 64-1054, 522 pp.
Tennessee Williams (m), playwright.
• “Portrays troubled life and career of Tennessee Williams.”—Yaakov and Greenfieldt, p. 58.
• Research could include the Greek translation by Errikos Belies. “Thomas Lanier Williams, known as Tennessee Williams, born in the American south in the tough turn of last century (1911), at he dawn of his life decided to make his very own effort for his redemption. And so, he narrates. He talks about his loved-ones that departed, the glory you conquer for as long as it wants you before it leaves you for good, his past that hurts, the many famous or not people that have passed from your life, the few who left their marks on you. He talks about love and death, but mainly about loneliness. Guilt, excitements, deceitful splendor, joys, pain, all in a net that he unfolds from within. He talks and his friends, writer Charlotte Chandler and actor Ray Stricklyn, record on tape his voice. This is how the play ‘Confessions of a Nightingale’ was born. The shape that the writers gave to the play is that of an indelibly haunting one-man solo piece. When the curtains go up, we found ourselves into Tennessee Williams' living room in Key West, Florida, in the beginning of the '80s. On stage we see the elderly author, ran down from alcohol, age and personal troubles, but with a tremendous clarity of mind. It is really hard to really see how much have the authors changes Williams' real words, but you feel that the man who talks on stage can be no one else than the creator of ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ ‘Suddenly Last Summer.’ Laura and Tom, Blanche, Sebastian or Alma in ‘Summer and Smoke’ can only be his own children. Heroes that were tried, who moved in dangerous paths between logic and despair, often very close to madness. Williams himself lived a reality close to the one of his heroes, a reality he has no problem talking about openly. Alcoholism, homosexuality, depression, mental institutions, lobotomy, tabbos for conservative middle America, nevertheless pieces of his own fragile world that sometimes are hinted and others are directly said in the text. The play was first performed in Greece at the ‘Pyli’ theater, in December 8, 1990, translated by Popi Kontou. Tennessee Williams was actor Thanos Kakoussis. The current production follows the translation of Errikos Belies, translator of more than ten plays of Williams. The final text of the performance is indeed a little adaptation of the original translated play. Deliberately this current adaptation does not start with Tennessee Williams very words but with the words of Tom in ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ the most auto-biographical of all his works. Tom's words also seal the authors speech at the end of the play. Maybe because as much as he loved his own heroes, they in turn can reveal their own creator now. How can we reveal pain, illusions, wounds, fear, the loneliness of a human being? Tennessee Williams nostalgically and joyfully talked about hard memories. He spoke with courage and he did it for one reason: because he was addressing the best audience he could ever have, strangers.” [Maria Houliara]—Domain of Culture - Cultural Events, http://www.cultureguide.gr/events/details.jsp?Event_id=40281&catA=1, accessed October 1, 2006.
• “Born in Houston, Texas just prior to the beginning of the Great Depression, Ray Stricklyn felt the urge to perform from his earliest years. From stage roles in his hometown, to parts in regional theater and Broadway, Ray made the jump from the stage to acting on both the large and small screens with some of the biggest names in the business, including Gary Cooper, Debbie Reynolds, Clifton Webb, Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Ida Lupino, and many, many others. However, turning his talents in a different direction during the 1970s, Ray became one of the most influential publicists in Hollywood through his work with some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment. The urge to act never left and Ray made his triumphant return to the stage to become ‘the most award-honored L.A. stage actor of the 1980s.’ Among others, he was twice named Best Actor of the Year by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and twice nominated for a Golden Globe for acting. Ray has guest-starred in a number of the top television series since his return, however it was his now legendary performance as Tennessee Williams in ‘Confessions of a Nightingale’ which received national acclaim with his performances in Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities across North America.”—Biography for Ray Stricklyn, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0834425/bio, accessed October 1, 2006.
• “Ray Stricklyn, an actor who scored his greatest triumph in the mid-1980s after abandoning his once promising acting career a decade earlier and becoming a highly respected Hollywood publicist, has died. He was 73. Stricklyn, whose one-man show as Tennessee Williams earned him critical praise and a new lease on his former career, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles after a long battle with chronic emphysema. ‘Confessions of a Nightingale,’ based on interviews with Williams by Charlotte Chandler and C. Robert Jennings, opened at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in January 1985. Stricklyn portrayed the legendary playwright in his declining years--a time when Williams' talent had faded but his outsized personality remained in full bloom. When his one-man show debuted, Stricklyn was representing Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Lynn Redgrave and other stars as co-director of publicity for the West Coast office of John Springer Associates, the prestigious Manhattan-based public relations firm. But what had been intended as a four-weekend performance ran for a year and earned Stricklyn best actor awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and L.A. Weekly, among others. Stricklyn quit his day job. ‘Confessions of a Nightingale’ opened off-Broadway in New York in 1986, earning a laudatory review from New York magazine critic John Simon, who wrote: ‘All those small mannerisms, tics, idiosyncratic intonations, hesitancies, shifts of mood are fraught with authenticity.’ Stricklyn toured with his one-man show for the next decade, with engagements as far-flung as Scotland and Israel. ‘When I was first working on portraying Williams, I didn't have any idea of doing much with it,’ he told the Chicago Tribune in 1987. ‘But he certainly brought me back to life and, in a way, I have done the same for him.’ Born and raised in Houston, Stricklyn became enchanted with acting in kindergarten when he portrayed Little Boy Blue in a school pageant. He pursued dramatics throughout school. He moved to New York in 1950 and made his Broadway debut two years later, playing the juvenile lead in Moss Hart's ‘The Climate of Eden.’ His performance earned him a Daniel Blum Theater World Award as the season's most promising young actor. Moving to Hollywood in 1955, he made his film debut as a ‘cracked-up’ Marine in George Seaton's ‘The Proud and the Profane.’ Among other early roles, he played Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine's son in ‘The Catered Affair’ and Gary Cooper and Geraldine Fitzgerald’s son in ‘Ten North Frederick,’ which earned him a Golden Globe nomination as most promising new actor of the year. Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons predicted that the young contract player for 20th Century Fox ‘could be the next Montgomery Clift.’ But by the early 1960s, the career of the young actor with the boyish good looks began to founder. ‘I was 27 and still looked 16, but there was a whole new crop of boys coming up who really were that age,’ he told The Los Angeles Times in 1984. ‘Before, I'd thought my career was going straight up. So like a lot of foolish young actors, I started living beyond my means. I bought expensive cars, got into debt. Once you think you're going to be a star, then you're not--it's a rude awakening.’ Stage and film work had virtually dried up for Stricklyn by 1973, when publicist John Springer asked him to head up his West Coast office. From then on, Stricklyn said, ‘I basically shut myself off from that old life--although I missed the performing and needed it terribly.’ His self-imposed exile from acting ended in 1982, when he began appearing in local stage productions. The by then mature Stricklyn, his boyish face lined and his hair gray, gave a moving performance as Mr. Nightingale, a dying homosexual living in a seedy New Orleans boardinghouse, in Tennessee Williams’ ‘Vieux Carre’ at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1983. His performance earned him best actor awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, L.A. Weekly and Daily Variety. Portraying Williams’ alter ego in ‘Vieux Carre’ served as a prelude for ‘Confessions of a Nightingale.’ When not touring as Williams, Stricklyn did guest shots in ‘Cheers,’ ‘The Nanny,’ ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Days of Our Lives’ and other television shows. After falling ill with emphysema in 1997, he began writing his autobiography. Published in 1999, ‘Angels & Demons: One Actor's Hollywood Journey’ is a candid and witty account of a man who, Stricklyn wrote, ‘might qualify as one who has had his 15 minutes in the limelight; perhaps even 20.’ He is survived by his sister, Mary Ann, and his longtime companion, Los Angeles stage director David Galligan.”—Days of Our Lives Obituaries, http://members.aol.com/jason47b/obituaries.html, accessed October 1, 2006.
biography, career, psychosis, success, Williams (Tennessee Williams, American playwright, 1911-1983).